Flt Lt Wales to head to Falklands

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British royal pilot Flt Lt Wales, as Prince William is known in the UK Royal Air Force (RAF), is to be posted to the Falkland Islands for six weeks from next February on a routine deployment as a search and rescue co-pilot, according to an announcement by the Ministry of Defence (MoD). Part of a team of four RAF personnel from 22 Squadron, RAF Valley, the deployment to the British overseas territory, which lies off the coast of Argentina, will form the latest stage of Flt Lt Wales’ training programme.

In a statement, the MoD said: “This deployment forms part of a normal squadron rotation and will form part of Flt Lt Wales’ training and career progression as a search and rescue pilot within the RAF.”The response to the announcement, though, has been cool from Argentine authorities. Sebastian Brugo Marco, an official who spoke to the BBC, said that Argentina could not ignore the ‘political content’ of the mission, which happens to be taking place in the same year as the 30th anniversary of the Falklands War, when Britain and Argentina clashed over the sovereignty of the islands. Marco said: “It is one more provocative act that shows Britain’s military presence in a zone of peace where there is no armed conflict. One cannot ignore the political content of this military operation, bearing in mind that the prince forms part of the Royal Family.”

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